Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham slapped Giants slugger Joc Pederson in the face over fantasy football.
It really happened. That is a fact.
During batting practice ahead of the Giants' eventual 5-1 loss to the Reds, Pham and Pederson were rumored to be in an altercation that involved physical contact and was the grounds behind Cincinnati scratching Pham from Friday's game just minutes before first pitch.
Pederson remained in San Francisco's lineup and brought in the Giants' only run by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. It turns out it was Pederson's second blow to the upper body Friday night. After the game, he confirmed he was smacked in the face by Pham due to a dispute from a fantasy football league both players were in.
“We were in a fantasy league together,” Pederson told reporters after the game. “I put a player on injured reserve when they were listed as ‘out’ and added another player. And then there was as text message in the group saying that I was cheating because I was stashing players on my bench.
"Then I looked up the rules and sent a screenshot of the rules how it says that when a player is ruled out, you’re allowed to put them on the IR. That’s all I was doing."
49ers running back Jeff Wilson found himself in the middle of the controversy at Great American Ball Park.
“It just so happened that he had a player, Jeff Wilson, who was out. And he had him on the IR. And I said, ‘you literally have the same thing on your team, on your bench.’ I guess he was in two leagues. In one of them, [Wilson] was on the IR and on the other one he wasn’t. So maybe that was a confusion. But in the ESPN league we were in, [Wilson] was listed as out. So it feels very similar to what I did."
Pederson was surprised by the slap from Pham, mostly because the two players hadn’t been in contact since the exchange on the group text.
"No, there was no real argument," Pederson said of the moments leading up to the slap. "He kind of came up and said, ‘You remember from last year?’ And I was like, ‘Fantasy football?’ And he’s like, 'Yeah.' "
And then Pham planted his palm on Pederson's cheek.
"I didn’t get emotional," Pederson said. "I don’t think violence in the answer, I guess you can say. ... It was an unfortunate situation over a fantasy football league rule, that wasn’t a rule."
If Pederson and Pham end up playing in the same fantasy league again, the Giants outfielder might want to make sure he's the acting commissioner.